The spirit of Buffalo is a very real concept that only true Buffalonians could understand; a sense of community, validity, and authenticity. The legendary rap group Griselda managed to spread the spirit of Buffalo on an international level – one third of this hip-hop superpower, Conway the Machine, recently dropped what is easily his best work to date, an LP entitled God Don’t Make Mistakes.
Conway’s cutthroat delivery intersects the eloquent piano keys laid over his beats with pinpoint perpendicularity. Listening to God Don’t Make Mistakes takes you into a hip hop classroom and Conway the Machine is the coolest teacher you’ve ever had. The diversity of emotion Conway has the power to convey is infinite, especially when comparing the vulnerable “Stressed” to the triumphant “So Much More.” When he says “Don’t let em’ put me in no box, I’m so much more,” it hits hard.
It’s a very surreal experience to witness a rapper once working on a local scale elevate to an international level, working with the people we grew up listening to here in Buffalo. Conway secured features from Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, and T.I., just to name three (trust me, there’s much more). On the production side of the project, he was able to work with the living legend Hit-Boy on “Wild Chapters,” and The Alchemist on both the title track “God Don’t Make Mistakes” and “Piano Love.”
Simultaneously, it’s evident as to why the Buffalo born rapper is far past the local scene. His status of story-telling, distinctive flows, and punch lines that hit harder than Mike Tyson are all a part of what makes Conway the Machine. His music video for “Stressed” is a testament to this; along with his peers, Conway battles with depression and suicidal thoughts which is a topic that old school hip hop hasn’t painted so vividly since the late Biggie Smalls’ “Ready to Die.”
The hook to “Piano Love” showcases Conway’s transition to a life of riches while still holding onto where he came from exclaiming, “Press box at the games, sittin’ next to the Pegulas. Came up with brick sellers, and them hundred pound movers” Features from fellow Griselda members Benny the Butcher and Westside Gunn was heartwarming to see as they represent the everlasting bond the boys from Buffalo forever share amongst themselves and the rest of the world.